Consumer Reports Picks Its Top Used Cars

Used cars are a smart investment for many different reasons. Not only are they great options for people who may be strapped for cash, but they're also worthy purchases for anyone concerned about the value of their automobile. That's part of the reason Consumer Reports recently issued a report regarding some of the best used car options for drivers. 

"Consumer Reports has long advocated buying used as a way to get the biggest bang for your buck," the report stated. "It's simple math: After one year, a new car has depreciated 27 percent of its sticker price; after three years, it's worth barely half of its sticker. When someone else takes the ­depreciation hit on the car, you benefit." 

Looking at the top brands 
As part of the report, which covered all aspects of the auto industry, Consumer Reports focused on some of the top brands. It chose its winners based on reviews and ratings of each vehicle's reliability and performance. 

Consumer Reports named Lexus as this year's top brand. The luxury company bested second-place Mazda thanks to its superior road-test results. Coming in behind those two automakers were Toyota, Audi and Subaru. Each of these brands creates a solid range of models year in and year out, and their older vehicles may be quality investment options for buyers. 

Best deals under $10,000
The report also listed the highest rated vehicles for different price points. For small used cars under $10,000, Consumer Reports suggested the Pontiac Vibe from 2005 to 2008, the 2008 Mazda3 and the Volkswagen Rabbit from 2007 to 2009. It also had several options for affordable used sedans. The Acura TL and Acura TSX from 2005 were top choices, along with the 2005 Toyota Avalon. Drivers could even get quality SUVs within this budget, with the 2005 Honda CR-V, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander and 2005 Honda Pilot earning praise. 

New Jersey State Auto offers a number of great used cars for less than $10,000. Drivers who are trying to stick to a budget can head to this facility and browse through a wide selection of quality used cars that are still affordable. The auction lot also has its own financing department, which can help you secure a loan and get behind the wheel of the car you want regardless of the price tag.